“Most people see what they want to, or at least what they expect to.” – Martha Grimes
Sometimes life is complicated, and sometimes we make it more complicated than it needs to be. We’ve all been in situations where we find ourselves analyzing and overanalyzing and doing all kinds of mental gymnastics to find solutions to problems, only to realize that the answer had been right in front of us the whole time.
In our roles as leaders, we sometimes do the same thing. We get involved in complex models and complicated decisions while sometimes forgetting the basics. There certainly are complex situations and sometimes those situations call for complex models or formulas or templates. But there are other things at work, too.
To a very large degree in our roles as leaders, our lives are a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we expect that things are going to go poorly, they probably will. If we expect that things are going to go well, they usually do. There are uncontrollable things that happen along the way, but our expectations often tend to be met.
Now, before you post angry comments, let me clarify a couple of things. I’m not suggesting that all you have to do is have a positive set of beliefs and everything will work out fine. You still have to do the hard work, you still have to make tough decisions, etc. It doesn’t just automatically happen. I’m also aware that “self-fulfilling prophecy” doesn’t necessarily describe everyone’s lives. Some people have opportunities others do not, quite often for no reason other than where they’re born, or who their parents are.
But for those of us who are here, right now, in leadership roles, and who have the opportunity to impact the organizations we lead, our beliefs about the future are critical. In fact, those beliefs are probably more critical than anything else, as they will either elevate or crush whatever efforts we put forth.
The good news is that those beliefs are a choice. You get to decide what you expect from your business, from the world, from yourself. And if your beliefs are holding you back, you can change them. It’s not easy, but you can do it.
What do you believe about the future? What do you believe about your business? What do you believe about your role? About yourself? Are those beliefs holding you back? Or are they pushing you forward? It’s your choice – make a good one.